PCC’s ‘Haunted Lagoon’ a hit

Laie Lady at PCCThe Polynesian Cultural Center’s Halloween-themed “haunted lagoon” canoe ride from October 22-31, 2008, was a huge hit: Over 12,000 people came to experience the PCC in a totally different way…and over 200 volunteers from the Center and the community helped keep them laughing, and scared.

People from all over Oahu came — some of them in their own costumes, such as Kalili from Laie (pictured at left); and some of the tourists tried it as well. Some waited in a line that stretched from the canoe landing by the IMAX™ Theater back past The Gateway Restaurant — about two hours long — and said the wait was worth it. Some came back to do it again.

The special canoe ride was a successful campaign to help fight the decrease in attendance brought on by the economic challenges everyone is currently facing. In fact, partially based on the good turnout, the Cultural Center is going to launch a “Christmas Canoe Ride” spinoff from December 15-22 (closed Sunday), although it will be a combination of the more sacred as well as popular aspects of the holiday. I’ve heard they’ve added lots of Christmas lights, and it sounds like another wonderful experience.

Center marketing people billed the “haunted lagoon” as a first-of-its-kind event…but I remember back in the 1980s, when Ralph Rodgers was PCC president and I worked in sales and marketing, we did our own “spooky canoe ride”:

It really was spooky, too — guys in masks rising out of the lagoon water, everybody screaming, and getting wet: So wet, in fact, that some of the participants seemed to think it was a water fight. For example, I  remember at least a couple of the guests were pretty upset that their clothes were soaked, not to mention the lagoon water didn’t smell the freshest either, and I had to put newspapers over my Honda seats to try to keep them dry on the drive home…but it was fun.

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